1

bank

noun \ ˈbaŋk \

Definition of bank

1 :a mound, pile, or ridge raised above the surrounding level: such as
a :a piled-up mass of cloud or fog
  • a fog bank
  • a bank of dark clouds
b :an undersea elevation rising especially from the continental shelf
2 :the rising ground bordering a lake, river, or sea or forming the edge of a cut or hollow
  • We lived along the banks of the Mississippi River.
3 a :a steep slope (as of a hill)
  • climbed a steep bank up to the cabin
b :the lateral inward tilt of a surface along a curve
  • The engineers hadn't given the road enough bank.
:the lateral inward tilt of a vehicle (such as an airplane) when turning
  • The bomber crossed the target area in a sharp bank.
4 :a protective or cushioning rim or piece

Did You Know?

The literal meaning of Italian banca was “bench,” but the word was also used for the benchlike counter at which an early money changer transacted business, and later to describe the money changer’s shop itself—the bank. When the banking trade spread from Italy to France, and then to England, the Italian word went with it and became our English bank.

Origin and Etymology of bank

Middle English, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse bakki bank; akin to Old English benc bench — more at bench


2

bank

verb

Definition of bank

transitive verb
1 a :to build a raised border of earth around :to raise a bank (see 1bank 2) about
  • bank a fishpond
b :to restrict the flow of air to (a fire) especially by piling ash around or over the burning embers
  • They banked the campfire at midnight so it could be easily revived in the morning.
c :to build (a curve) with the roadbed or track inclined laterally upward from the inside edge
2 :to heap or pile in a bank
  • banking sand up along a river to prevent flooding
3 a billiards :to drive (a ball) into a cushion
b sports :to bounce (a ball or shot) off a surface (such as a backboard) into or toward a goal
  • bank in a rebound
4 :to form or group in a tier
intransitive verb
1 :to rise in or form a bank often used with up
  • clouds would bank up about midday, and showers fall
  • —William Beebe
2 a :to incline an airplane laterally
  • The pilot banked right.
b (1) :to incline laterally
  • torpedo planes … darting in to attack, then banking off
  • —K. M. Dodson
(2) :to follow a curve or incline
  • skiers banking around the turn

Origin and Etymology of bank

see 1bank


3

bank

noun

Definition of bank

1 a :an establishment for the custody, loan, exchange, or issue of money, for the extension of credit, and for facilitating the transmission of funds
  • paychecks automatically deposited into the bank
  • went to the bank to make a withdrawal
  • open a bank account
b obsolete :the table, counter, or place of business of a money changer
2 :a person conducting a gambling house or game; specifically :dealer
3 :a supply of something held in reserve: such as
a in games :the fund of supplies (such as money, chips, or pieces) held by the banker (see 1banker 2) or dealer
b in games :a fund of pieces (such as dominoes) from which the players draw
  • select another domino from the bank
4 :a place where something is held available
  • memory banks
; especially :a depot for the collection and storage of a biological product
  • a blood bank

Origin and Etymology of bank

Middle English, from Middle French or Old Italian; Middle French banque, from Old Italian banca, literally, bench, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English benc


4

bank

verb

Definition of bank

intransitive verb
1 :to manage a bank
2 :to deposit money or have an account in a bank (see 3bank 1a)
  • choosing where to bank
transitive verb
:to deposit or store in a bank
  • bank a check
  • Whole blood … could be banked indefinitely …
  • Time
bank on
:to depend or rely on
  • can always bank on her friendship

Origin and Etymology of bank

see 3bank


5

bank

noun

Definition of bank

1 :a group or series of objects arranged together in a row or a tier
  • a bank of vending machines
: such as
a :a set of elevators
b :a row or tier of telephones
  • worked at a phone bank calling potential donors
2 journalism :one of the horizontal and usually secondary or lower divisions of a headline
  • reading the bank of the headline

Origin and Etymology of bank

Middle English banc bench, from Anglo-French, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English benc


BANK Defined for Kids

1

bank

noun \ ˈbaŋk \

Definition of bank for Students

1 :a mound or ridge especially of earth
  • a bank of snow
2 :the side of a hill
3 :the higher ground at the edge of a river, lake, or sea
  • the banks of the river
4 :something shaped like a mound
  • a bank of clouds
5 :an undersea elevation :shoal

2

bank

verb

Definition of bank for Students

banked; banking
1 :to build (a curve) in a road or track with a slope upward from the inside edge
2 :to heap up in a mound or pile
  • Wind banked snow against the door.
3 :to raise a pile or mound around
  • bank a stone wall
4 :to tilt to one side when turning

3

bank

noun

Definition of bank for Students

1 :a business where people deposit and withdraw their money and borrow money
2 :a small closed container in which money may be saved
3 :a storage place for a reserve supply
  • a blood bank

4

bank

verb

Definition of bank for Students

banked; banking
1 :to have an account in a bank
  • We bank locally.
2 :to deposit in a bank
  • bank ten dollars

5

bank

noun

Definition of bank for Students

:a group or series of objects arranged together in a row
  • a bank of seats

Medical Dictionary

bank

noun \ ˈbaŋk \

medical Definition of bank

:a place where something is held available
  • data bank
; especially :a depot for the collection and storage of a biological product of human origin for medical use
  • a sperm bank
  • an eye bank
— see blood bank

Law Dictionary

bank

noun \ ˈbaŋk \

legal Definition of bank

:an organization for the custody, loan, or exchange of money, for the extension of credit, and for facilitating the transmission of funds
branch bank
:a banking facility that is a separate but dependent part of a chartered bank; especially :a facility that performs some banking functions and is separate from a main office
bridge bank
:a national bank that is chartered for a limited time to operate an insolvent bank until it is sold
central bank
:a national bank that establishes monetary and fiscal policy and controls the money supply and interest rate
collecting bank
:a bank other than the payor bank that is handling for collection a negotiable instrument or a promise or order to pay money
commercial bank
:a bank organized chiefly to handle the everyday financial transactions of businesses (as through deposit accounts and commercial loans)
cooperative bank
:an association (as a credit union) owned by and offering banking services for its members; specifically :savings and loan association
depositary bank
:the first bank to take a negotiable instrument or promise or order to pay money unless the instrument, promise, or order is presented for immediate payment over the counter
federal land bank
:a land bank that is under federal charter and regulated by the Farm Credit Administration
Federal Reserve bank
:one of 12 central banks set up under the Federal Reserve Act to hold reserves for and extend credit to affiliated banks in their respective districts
intermediary bank
:a bank other than the depositary or payor bank to which a negotiable instrument or promise or order to pay is transferred in the course of collection
land bank
1 :a bank that provides financing for land development and farm mortgages especially by issuing stock — see also federal land bank in this entry
2 :a trust that holds land for purposes of preservation or conservation
national bank
:a bank operating under federal charter and supervision
nonbank bank
:a financial organization (as a branch of an out-of-state bank) that either accepts demand deposits or makes commercial loans
payor bank
:a bank that is the drawee of a draft
presenting bank
:a bank other than a payor bank that presents a negotiable instrument or promise or order to pay money
savings bank
:a bank organized to hold depositors' funds in interest-bearing accounts and to make long-term investments (as in home mortgage loans)
state bank
:a bank operating under state charter and law

banker

play \ˈbaŋ-kər\ noun


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up bank? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

pleasing or sweet sound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Forms of Government Quiz

  • knupfer-painting-solon-before-croesus
  • A gerontocracy is rule by:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!